MLB – The Trade Deadline Arms Race

joseIt’s the day all of baseball fans, players, management, and everyone involved loves and dreads simultaneously; Trade Deadline Day.

Many years, there is more excitement in anticipating the trades then in the actual trades, but this year provided some big fireworks. We saw some trades that everyone was expecting (the Red Sox trading away Lester), mixed with pieces few were expecting (Cespedes?!), and a number of teams made it very clear that they wanted 2014 to be their year.

The Red Sox seemed pretty trade happy, shipping off 80% of their starting day rotation, which could indicate that they’ve given up on this season, but in return they got some pretty good pieces in return that will definitely help them in the future. This is a little scary for a Blue Jays fan. Also in the AL east, the Yankees started a few weeks ago to make improvements to their depleted staff. They added vet and twitter professional, Brandon McCarthy, who has given them a number of qualities starts since being acquired. They also added Martin Prado, Chase Headley, and Stephen Drew.

The Detroit Tigers and Oakland A’s have been matched up in the ALDS a few years in a row now, and both have made statement trades in order to be the ones to come out on top if they are to meet again. Oakland has padded their already stellar rotation with Samardzija and Lester. The Tigers were unable to sign Scherzer to an extension this off-season, but managed to acquire the highly-touted David Price for Drew Smyly and a few prospects. Both teams worked hard to essentially lock down their spot to be playing baseball in October.

Now for the Blue Jays. The team is still very much in the hunt for a playoff spot after a very rough month of June. The Blue Jays major acquisition was Danny Valencia from the Kansas City Royals for Erik Kratz and Liam Hendriks. Many fans, and even some of the Jays themselves were unimpressed with the lack of moves made by the Jays’ front office.

Honestly, I am not that rattled by it. It seems like other teams were asking for more than what would be returned. Nearly every deal included Aaron Sanchez, who has gone from minor league prospect to a solid member of the weakened bullpen. Many also wanted Marcus Stroman and/or Drew Hutchison, both who are solid members of the current Blue Jays’ rotation. It’s hard to give up guys like those, especially since they’ve been able to prove themselves as reputable big leaguers early in their careers for the most part. If the Jays fall just short of being in the playoffs for the first time in 20 years, I think many fans and writers will point to this day as the issue.

There is still time left to make improvements to the Jays’ line-ups. Jose Bautista didn’t become a Blue Jay until August 21st of 2008. Plus, many of the Jays’ key guys will be back in the line-up in a few weeks. The patches found on the waiver wire may not be the best long-term solutions, but they are holding up better than anyone could have expected.

The Blue Jays remained pretty quiet amongst the commotion of this year’s trade deadline, but by no means should you count them out.

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